Dental Scrap Recycling Adds Extra Revenue Stream for DSOs

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Dental crowns, bridges, and PFMs are often alloyed with gold, silver, platinum, and palladium, and they can be very valuable. DSOs and group practices that don’t sell and recycle this scrap or sell them to a third-party cash buyer miss out on a potentially lucrative opportunity.

Precious metals prices have soared in recent years, and DSOs can easily add a steady revenue stream by regularly refining dental scrap. According to, the gold price increased 25% in 2020 and has recently hovered near $1,900 per ounce. Palladium, a lesser-known silvery metal used in dentistry, recently hit a record-high of more than $3,000 per ounce.

Crowns, bridges, and PFMs don’t net a tremendous amount of money on an individual level. But when DSOs collect and sell the accumulated scrap across all their offices to a precious metals refinery like Garfield, you stand to make thousands of dollars in profit.

Centralize your Metal Recycling
An advantage of working with a refiner like Garfield is that we’ll centralize and streamline the dental scrap recycling process for you. We provide superior account management support and help you make profits off dental scrap while lowering your administrative burden. To put it simply, we do the work for you.

When choosing a dental scrap refiner, go with a refinery that has a proven track record, such as Garfield. We have experience working with DSOs ranging from five to 1,000 locations, with their individual offices refining scrap two to four times per year. With precious metals prices as high as they are right now, this type of regular refining adds up to sizable profits.

Pick a refiner that’ll boost compliance at the office level through educational marketing and incentives and regular, personalized outreach. An excellent refiner like Garfield will also provide you with accurate reporting that summarizes outcomes for each practice, helping to identify strengths and weaknesses and ways to further boost compliance.

A Streamlined Approach is best
Letting individual offices handle dental scrap recycling their own way is a big mistake and can be rectified with a streamlined program like the one provided by Garfield Refining. Leaving scrap recycling to individual offices could result in a loss of significant profit if the offices are getting below-market value for scrap.

One common mistake individual dental offices fall for when recycling scrap is selling to a cash-for-gold buyer who uses a “weigh-and-pay” approach. In this approach, the buyer puts the scrap on the scale and simply guesses how much it’s worth. A dental office could lose as much as 50% of the scrap’s value this way.

A legitimate precious metals refinery, like Garfield, uses a scientific melt and assay process to precisely determine the content of dental scrap. This ensures DSOs get paid the most for the gold, silver, platinum, and palladium content in the scrap. Garfield offers the highest payments in the industry and provides quick turnaround times and custom payment schedules, so DSOs receive these high payments fast and efficiently.

Good for the Environment
Recycling dental scrap is a great way to add an extra revenue stream for your DSO, but it’s also great for the environment. DSOs know that amalgam, mercury, and X-Ray film must be disposed of according to EPA regulations. EPA doesn’t regulate the disposal of dental crowns, bridges, and PFMs, but some of the precious metals in this scrap can still harm the environment.

Some silver used in dentistry today comes in the form of silver nanoparticles, which can be harmful to aquatic life when it’s not recycled and ends up in groundwater. Recycling precious metals in dental scrap also helps resource conservation and reduces the need for further mining of precious metals.

For example, recycled gold from dental scrap can be used for various applications, being placed into new dental restorations, jewelry, or electronics. A recent report from the Boston Consulting Group revealed that the world’s total gold supply from 1995 to 2014 was made up of about one-third of recycled gold. This is important because mining operations for precious metals can be very detrimental to the environment.

North America’s Best Dental Refiner
Recycling dental scrap is a smart move financially, and it also has the added benefit of helping Mother Earth. It’s wise to work with a precious metals refinery like Garfield that can centralize and streamline dental scrap recycling for your DSO. We’ll lessen your administrative burden while adding a revenue stream you can divert towards capital improvements, staff bonuses, or whatever projects you so choose.

Garfield Refining is a premier precious metals refinery that has helped DSOs, group practices, dentists, and dental laboratories get the most for their precious metals for generations. Garfield has been named North America’s “Best Dental Refiner” for the past 10 years in a row, a testament to our unrivaled experience and expertise in dental scrap refining.

For more information, visit
or contact Alyson Loveland at (267) 297-2763 or
and ask how you can get set up with Garfield’s DSO Recycling Program for your organization.


Written by Abby Stevens,
Director of Joint Ventures at Garfield Refining
If you’d like to learn more about dental scrap recycling for DSOs, read our other post on HERE.


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